The second part of the Delhi University year is looked forward to, not just because of the relieving winter but the season of college fests that light up each campus in the city between January and March.

The societies gear up for all competitions in these months. Dancers can be seen practicing their complex turns and twists in their sleep, while the singers hidden in every college are heard humming random mash-ups. It’s a hectic season for every busy bee involved in any union, organizational body or society. It is an exciting time for everybody.

When asked about their expectations from the upcoming season, Drishti, a student of Hindu exclaimed, “More guest stars!” Another voice piped in, “Perhaps lesser Honey Singh?”

Most students are eagerly awaiting the lineup of star performances that highlight most college fests. Last year saw celebrities like Kailash Kher, RDB, Honey Singh and Them Clones taking the stage at various colleges. The competitions that most audiences tend to look forward to yielded expected responses of choreography, battle of the bands and dramatics.

It was a nice surprise to see niche concepts and ideas like focused discussions and literary events also pop up among the responses. Some of the interviewees were more straightforward. “We’re looking forward to the food,” said Tarun from KMC, referring to the immense number of stalls and shops that populate all college grounds from the most surprising of places to the most well known.

The first fest on the DU calendar this year is GargiCollege’s Reverie from the 29th to 31st January which is promising to be even larger this year. Our editors and photographers will cover the succeeding season in exceeding detail.

Keep watching this space for the same!


When an idol of a sport decides to retire, we often see it as the beginning of a decline altogether. The man who could single-handedly raise an entire country to euphoria and leave them in the dregs of despair in absence is someone who cannot come often enough in any sport.

Sachin Tendulkar and cricket began their relationship much before his discovery, the records and the popularity. It began with a father trying to curb his son’s mischief. From there, to setting school records with Vinod Kambli, playing for the state team and finally, the Indian cricket team – the transition from gully cricket to nationals took him a mere five years. Tendulkar made his test debut againstPakistan aged just 16 years and 223 days.

Twenty three years later, he’s arguably the greatest batsman who ever lived with the honor of being part of the 2011 World Cup Champions, winner of the Garfield Sobers Trophy and the most prolific one-day run scorer to date. Talk to any Indian on the street, and Tendulkar is a surprising metaphor for hope. It could be because of the rags to riches story, or the one-hand save of Indian cricket.

No one can deny the massive contribution he had to the enthusiasm with which the sport is perceived or the mountain of records he has left standing. From Srinath to Ganguly, the amassed tributes were insufficient to cover all that had to be said.

Perhaps, the closest one could come to expressing the passion of the Indian fan is the popular phrase used amongst them, “Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God.”

If not a God, then definitely a mortal who could pull people from their kitchens, shops and rooms. To just watch.

The danger in calling anyone greater than the rest is the power of manipulation that we provide them with. The greatest power to wield inIndia, far more unquestionable than prestige or wealth, is faith. People seek out the final answers to their journey and often approach people claiming to have a closer connection to God.

The threat to rationality and society that option can have has become apparent again with Asaram Bapu’s statements about the rape victim.

To quote him verbatim, “The girl should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said, ‘I consider you my brother’ and to the other two, she should have said, ‘Brothers, I am helpless. You are my brothers, my religious brothers’. Then the misconduct wouldn’t have happened.”

While not accusing the man of a malicious intention, it is the line of thought with which we take issue. Keeping in mind the well-publicized scenario in which the incident took place, and the utterly brutal and violent domination of the woman that took place, it’s dangerous, when however inherently, we obliquely try to blame a victim.

As soon as the victim is blamed in a crime, especially one that is sexually violating, we are simply accepting a situation where it is almost acceptable to treat females as objects. For all the caustic comments that have been issued by religious leaders until now, what is astonishing is a lack of discourse about empathy. A complete vacuum exists when it comes to talking about respecting women, be it based on simple ethics or scriptures.

We’re listening to voices today that are often opinionated in the absence of information, but more importantly, voices that have been hardened by a complete disconnection from reality. Where do we draw the line between letting remarks go just because they are cloaked in spirituality? If this is our best understanding of morality, we seem to be propagating a directionless society.

Hatred against women has become an apathetically acceptable part of society. Be it from godmen, ministers or pop stars. Maybe that’s what we need to start changing for a beginning.


The last week of 2012 makes one contemplate on all the crazy stories, the never-to-be-repeated secrets of the year and the scares but it remains incomplete without a pop culture list of all that should have been seen and heard in this year. If you’ve been under a rock for the last year, the following is a quick recap of all that you should catch up on.




Barfi! – A film that can teach you about the power of silence and relate to you in the unbound joy and love it captures – A movie worth watching again and again. I could break it down in the elements of the performances, the costumes and the dialogues or just call it one of the finest films the mainstream Bollywood cinema can call its own. It wouldn’t be far from the truth.

The Dark Knight Rises – Fights still happen in campuses when people start pitting the last trilogy movie against the Dark Knight. The results are often inconclusive. Be it Bane, a weary Bruce Wayne who is forced out of retirement or Anne Hathaway as the Catwoman, the stellar cast of this film ensures that your popcorn is unfinished and your mouth is gaping wide open in the course of those two hours.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky’s adaptation of his own novel details the story of a misfit who finds acceptance amongst a group of people in high school. Adventures, realizations and revelations follow. To the tunes of David Bowie and the Smiths.

Gangs of Wasseypur – An engaging film that scared professors and students alike by their vicarious enjoyment of the gory storytelling. A story set in Jharkhand is drenched in the rugged, earthy feeling of the villages and interiors of India captures all that is going wrong with the Indian system which often lies at the mercy of politicians and goons. A must watch for entertainment and information.

Hunger Games – The movie adaptation of the famous Suzanne Collins was much looked forward to, and did not disappoint. Gary Ross left no tool at his disposal unused to depict the savagery and brutality of a Capitol and a tale that was purely and beautifully just about survival.

The Avengers – Comic book fans were secretly cringing at the announcement of yet another multi-superhero film. The product surprised and left behind all expectancies.




Gangnam Style – Not a personal favorite, but who are we to challenge the dominance of Korean pop or 950 million Youtube views?

Call Me Maybe – Any pop culture list of 2012 would find it hard to ignore the song that spawned thousands of Youtube covers, became a ringtone favorite and surpassed all languages and devices until it became a permanent fixture in our ears. This surprise hit from Carly Rae Jepsen is one that has to be heard despite musical sensibilities otherwise. (The writer promises to make this up with an indie music list later.)

Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye’s 2012 single put him on the map, made every person attempt to pronounce his name correctly and was often demanded to be played over and over again by wounded lovers at karaoke bars. A song that painfully details the breaking down of a relationship is one that was heard across the world.

Fun. (Some Nights) – The breakout 2012 album across all music critics’ lists is one that isn’t heard for lyrical depth, emotional catharsis but one that indubitably is ‘fun’. A pop-rock band which creates anthems for everyday inspiration and can be danced down to, is one that topped all music charts and is definitely a pop culture favorite that cannot be ignored.

What would you do if the world was ending? We’re often posed with that question as an inanity used to understand you. It’s asked in slam books, memoirs, interviews but we never really quite treat it as real. To understand the immensity of everything we know vanishing in an instant, we have to enter this world written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.

‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is not an ordinary movie. It lives with ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. They’re not just going to die as a race and civilization, but with foreknowledge of the same. Steve Carrell plays an insurance salesman who has lost meaning in selling whole-life insurance policies along with Keira Knightley, a neighbor he meets on the fire escape. It isn’t helping the situation that his wife has left him for another man in the three weeks preceding their extinction. The film deals with several themes in a humane manner which has the capacity to make us wryly laugh and cry at the same time. Loneliness, which doesn’t stop looming on the top of our heads, or the meaning of life, which evades us with an ever-greater certainty. The two set out on a road trip to fulfill their last greatest desires. Meet a loved one, gain the courage to do something they never did, but a road trip is never about the trip but the people you meet on the way. In this case, even the sides of themselves the two encounter in the trip.

They might fall in love. They might just be blatant momentary creature comfort for each other. They might not. The film doesn’t stop or wish to reach a Happily Ever After but explores all that even momentary relationships can hold in meaning for us. In the midst of the riots, the paranoia and the panic, finding something to live for in an irreversible Armageddon – someone perusing our existence, might just find it redeeming. Seeking a friend for the end of the world. Maybe that’s all we’re looking for.

After the completion of all regional qualifiers for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, this weekend will see the National Finals taking place in Mumbai on 2nd December. The first of its kind in India, the Derby is here not only to challenge all that is conceptualized of cars but even of, who can make cars.

In the road leading towards the Finals, the organizers traveled with the participants all over the city, filming reactions to parking their car-like (and yet not quite) creations. The finals will see seventy teams competing against each other for the grand prize and possibility of representing India in the World Finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Delhi regional qualifiers which had been adjudged by motosport and rally circuit veterans, Mr. Ashish Jha and Mr. Gaurav Gill saw the team ‘Armored’ (USIT, IP) winning the first position who will now be competing in the National Finals representing the city. The hosts of the finals will include the familiar faces of Cyrus Broacha, Jose Calvaco and Ramona Arena, while the judges will comprise of Rannvijay Singh, Lisa Haydon and Kunal Vijaykar.

On 7th and 8th November, 2012, Gargi College hosted a multidisciplinary conference on the themes of ‘Conflict to Convergence: Building Holistic Perspectives’. The invitees for the inaugural address were Mr. Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development and Professor Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor of Delhi University.

Understanding the need for balanced perspectives that integrate views from all fields of Sciences, Humanities and Commerce especially when one is dealing with complex and vital issues in a conflict-ridden world, the aim of this conference was to build leadership skills among students by making them aware the various elements that need to be analyzed to see an issue in its totality. This includes the techno-science angle, the commercial prospects as well as any humanist concerns.

For this, speakers were invited from varied fields including Prof S.K Saha to speak on the topic of Artificial Intelligence and its Impact. A talk dealing with the ‘Paradoxes of Consumption’ saw speakers such as Mr. Gurcharan Das and Mr. SK Tendon debating out the issue. The sessions in the seminar included engaging discussions on topics such as the ‘Conservation of Heritage’, ‘Ethical Science’ and the ‘Contours of Citizenship’ with panelists including Prof. Patrick Heller, Ms. Anupama Roy, Mr. Biswas Mohan Padhy and Mr. A.G.K. Menon.

Resolving the conflicts between all that is and all that could be is the first step towards progress. The conference sufficiently dealt with that, leaving the audience of the packed auditorium with much food for thought.



To make a film that is part of a well-loved franchise is always an unenviable task. Most people hate you for trying, and very few are ever satisfied. Sam Mendes single-handedly defeats all those stereotypes with Skyfall.

The first thing that strikes the viewer, as one is walking out of the hall, is the attention paid to character and story, which is completely unlike the large number of Bond movies which have often looked like a string of put-together set pieces to showcase a tuxedoed agent.

The 007 agent is introduced as someone whose best days are all behind him, aging, vulnerable and off his game – something driven home by the Adele opening track. Unlike most Bond movies which focused solely on the agent’s single-handed achievements along with the ‘attraction’ factor added by the concept of a ‘Bond girl’, the movie looks more like an ensemble piece with M as the co-lead in most parts of the narrative, supported ably by Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris.

The villain constructed by Javier Bardem, is described by Total Film’s Neil Smith as “is that rarest of creations: a cyber-terrorist who genuinely terrifies.” Nothing is more frightening than a completely unhinged villain, and the film makes full use of the character to depict the changing scenario of villainy and heroism, along with sources of information.

The antidote and the poison to all that is, every thing that can change anything can all be done with a single flick of a keystroke. Or perhaps, just an idea. The twenty-third film which marks fifty years of the Bond franchise does justice to all these landmarks and leaves us with far more than aesthetic fantasies. It leaves us with a narrative of a man who has been in a ruthless profession for too long.

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On 6th October, 2012, the Red Bull Racing Can Delhi Qualifiers were held in the IIT-Delhi Campus. Twenty-seven teams from all over the city and neighboring regions competed in the first round of this international competition. The teams were picked out of a number of contestants on the basis of their model design and creativity in fashioning a functioning car out of Red Bull cans. This was the first and the regional round of the competition, the winner of which would proceed to the national round in Mumbai on 20th October, and the team that won there would get a chance to compete in the international round in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Meanwhile here, the twenty-seven teams were pitted against each other in races between two or three cars. Their models were attached to a remote-control driven chassis and the winner of each proceeded to the quarterfinals of the qualifiers. Some cars toppled and had to be retrieved by the crew, while others were expertly maneuvered by their makers around the rubber track.

After twelve qualfiers and four quarter-finals, the finals comprised four teams whose self-titled names were, ‘Metal Mayhem’, ‘Aerobolt’, ‘Bull Racers’ and ‘Armoured’.

These teams were then judged on the basis of their design and creativity and the final race rankings by Mr. Gaurav Gill and Mr. Ashish Jha, who are both established members of the rally car and motosport Indian circuit.

The teams were questioned on their choices in designing or the overall weight of the car which may have been the compromise between maneuvering ease and speed. The combined score of these two rounds decided the winner of the qualifiers. ‘Armored’ comprising two USIT, IP University students won the race, as well as the overall tally, and will be competing in the nationals in October.


Image credits: Additi Seth

Pulsating music. Graffiti tees. Red light shining on guitar picks and drumsticks.  The second edition of Gig Week had arrived and there was no music lover in Delhi who didn’t know about it. The organizers kicked off Delhi’s only contemporary music festival  at the Stage, Manajsa  with a highlight performance from Half Step Down, followed by different venues that ranged from Smoke House Grill, Verve, Lemp, Shroom, Blue Frog and Sura Vie. The bands ranged from newly-formed to well-established on the circuit, but the effort the organizers had put in to reduce the gap between talented artists and the platform was obvious to every audience member.

An event organized by the youth was defined by the raw passion, energy and talent that existed for its own enjoyment. Not driven by commercial need or demand, the vocalists sang their hearts out because they wanted to.

They drowned the room in sound and art even if their audience was a lone technician during sound check, or the hundreds of sweaty bodies jumping next to each other. The audience composed of their friends, fellow musicians and music lovers who had accidentally stumbled onto Delhi’s version of an indie platform, sang along to the classics covered. More importantly, most of the bands found a receptive audience for self-compositions, people who listened critically, applauded loudly in appreciation and winced at faulty notes.

Each evening had a single band as the highlight performance, which was a smart technique used by the organizers to increase footfall for bands just as good, if not as renowned. This edition also saw the inclusion of more variance in artist genres, and the organizers made sure to include larger venues to accommodate the event’s growing popularity.

Every band DUB spoke to, raved about the arrangements, quality and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to play at such a stage. Most audience members (the writer included) could be spotted walking out either engrossed in a ‘That band’ vs ‘This band’ discussion or just quietly bobbing their head in silence.

Everything they knew was being changed with one song at a time. They just didn’t know it yet.